Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusic · 1 decade ago

What exactly happened in the accident that killed Harry Chapin?

Was it a one car collision or was there another vehicle involved? Did he just lose control?

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Chapin died on July 16, 1981 in an automobile accident on the Long Island Expressway at the age of 38. He was headed to perform a concert in Eisenhower Park in Nassau County when his car was struck by a truck. An autopsy showed that he had suffered a heart attack, but it could not be determined whether that occurred before or after the collision. Although Chapin was a notoriously poor driver, Supermarkets General, the owner of the truck, paid $12 million to his widow in the ensuing litigation

  • sunny
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Chapin died on July 16, 1981 in an automobile accident on the Long Island Expressway at the age of 38. He was headed to perform a concert in Eisenhower Park in Nassau County when his car was struck by a truck. An autopsy showed that he had suffered a heart attack, but it could not be determined whether that occurred before or after the collision. Although Chapin was a notoriously poor driver, Supermarkets General, the owner of the truck, paid $12 million to his widow in the ensuing litigation.

    Source(s): wikipedia.com
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "Chapin died on July 16, 1981 in an automobile accident on the Long Island Expressway at the age of 38. He was headed to perform a concert in Eisenhower Park in Nassau County when his car was struck by a truck. An autopsy showed that he had suffered a heart attack, but it could not be determined whether that occurred before or after the collision. Although Chapin was a notoriously poor driver, Supermarkets General, the owner of the truck, paid $12 million to his widow in the ensuing litigation."

  • 3 years ago

    Harry Chapin Wiki

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  • 1 decade ago

    On July 16th, 1981,Harry was driving on the Long Island Expressway , in the left hand fast lane, at about 65 miles an hour. For some unknown reason, either because of engine failure or some physical problem (thought to be a possible heart attack) he put on his emergency flashers near Exit 40 in Jericho, NY. He then slowed to about 15 miles an hour and veered into the center lane nearly colliding with another car. He swerved back left, then back right again and this time went directly in front of a tractor-trailer truck. The truck could not brake in time and rammed the rear of Harry's blue 1975 VW Rabbit, rupturing the gas tank and causing it to burst into flames. As a result of the crash, a piece of glass went through Harry's heart.

    The driver of the truck, and another passer-by were able to get Harry out of the burning car through the window and by cutting the seatbelts, before the car was completely engulfed. He was taken by police helicopter to the hospital where ten doctors tried for 30 minutes to revive him. A spokesman for the Nassau County Medical Center said that Harry had suffered a massive heart attack and "died of cardiac arrest" but there was no way of knowing whether it occurred before or after the accident. Harry Chapin was just 38 years old.

    Even though Harry's driver's license was revoked at the time of the accident, for a long string of traffic violations, his wife Sandy did win a $12 million decision in a negligence lawsuit against truck's owners.

    A memorial fund was established in his name following his death, with Elektra Records providing the initial donation of $10, 000. Over the years, the fund has raised an estimated $5 million for anti-hunger groups and other charities he supported.

  • 1 decade ago

    Harry Chapin, a folk-rock composer and performer active in many charitable causes, was killed yesterday when the car he was driving was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway in Jericho, L.I., the police said. He was 38 years old.

    Harry Chapin was killed in a collision on New York's Long Island Expressway. The accident occurred at 12:27 p.m. on July 16th as Chapin, 38, was driving from his home in Huntington Bay, Long Island, where he lived with his wife and five children, to an appointment in Manhattan. Apparently, he was trying to change lanes when his blue 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer. Spokesmen at Nassau County Medical Center said Chapin died from a massive heart attack, but they were not sure whether it occurred before or after the accident. A gold pocket watch found on the body was the only initial means of identification.

    Great website, check it out.

    http://chapinsongs.tripod.com/page16.html

    Source(s): The New York Times Rolling Stone
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ~~~~~~~

    Harry Chapin, Singer, Killed in Crash

    Author: John Rockwell

    Publication: The New York Times

    Date: Friday July 17th 1981

    Harry Chapin, a folk-rock composer and performer active in many charitable causes, was killed yesterday when the car he was driving was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway in Jericho, L.I., the police said. He was 38 years old.

    The Nassau County Police said that a flatbed tractor-trailer owned by Rickles Home Center of Paramus, N.J., struck Mr. Chapin's car at 55 miles an hour as the car shifted lanes with its emergency lights flashing near exit 40 at Jericho Turnpike at 12:27 P.M.

    The force of the crash crushed the rear of the car, a 1975 Volkswagen, to the pavement, sending off sparks that set its fuel tank aflame, the police said. The truck driver, Robert Eggleton of Plainfield, suffered burns on his face and arms as he cut Mr. Chapin from his seatbelt and dragged him from the flaming wreckage, the police said.

    Detective Donald Wecklein said Mr. Chapin apparently died from the force of the crash. He did not appear to be badly burned, the detective said, adding that he did not know whether Mr. Chapin's car had been disabled or why the emergency lights were flashing. No charges were filed.

    ~~~~~~~

    • Robert4 years agoReport

      so sad, Cat's in the Cradle will live forever on. My dad said he saw the accident scene and then heard about it on the radio. It's a shame he was so young.

  • Bolan
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    He was killed in an auto accident on the Long Island Expressway in 1981. He was a talented artist and poet.

    On July 16, 1981, Chapin was driving to a business meeting on the Long Island Expressway near Jericho, NY, when his car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The accident caused his gas tank to explode, killing the singer/songwriter in the process.

  • Erika
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Harry Chapin Death

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I was in HS with his son when he died, and was told the official story was he was driving a small car and while passing a big semi truck his car was sucked under the truck, and he was run over. I also heard that he was driving while really tired and fell asleep at the wheel, also that he was under the influence of drugs. No autopsy was done so we don't really know about the drugs.

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